skyscraping

#UnemployedLife: Possibilities

You know the Sinatra classic “High Hopes“? It’s been running through my head for a couple of weeks now. To make the randomness cooler and more odd, the lyrics appeared on Wheel of Fortune this week.

It’s true. Part of the process of job hunting is interviewing and seeing possible puzzle pieces come together. During that time, you’re nervous, freaking out, and hitting the Jessie Spano.

Last week, I had a lot of possibilities lined up, especially with one potential job.  The interviews went great and I just knew it was mine to crack open and fry up into an incredible omelette. I hardly ever put a ton of eggs into a basket. because it’s not my M.O. However, this job opportunity seemed to be perfect. After receiving “the call” (not the Backstreet Boys forgotten jam), I went in expecting to accept and start the next day.

Thirty minutes later, I had the verdict…the job lead was a no-go. It completely threw me for a loop because I really expected this to be the job. Following that defeating meeting, I had to have a come to Jesus meeting with myself and get to doing the hustle.

When people used to ask me what I did for a profession, I used to always joke about my many side hustles. Now, those side hustles are becoming my main dance.

At the time of writing this, I do not have anything solid. Yet, I have some possibilities. Despite not getting the job, I’m excited about the options. They are all exciting. Until then, I’m looking around because there’s a lot go be learned and I’ve got high hopes.

Pay it Forward

Pay It Forward (c) Warner Brothers

We’re really excited about broadcasting the mantra of paying it forward and taking it to a community level soon. Simply put, paying it forward means that you are passing along goodwill/a favor to someone else in need for no ulterior motive. It could be towards someone who is unsuspecting, friend or organization.

 

If you want more info on it,  here are some references: Pay It Forward Organization or the incredible movie with Kevin Spacey before he was President Underwood simply called Pay It Forward. Stay tuned…

Highway

#UnemployedLife: What’s next?

Since becoming unemployed, one of the main questions I’ve been asked after “what happened?” has been “So, what’s next?” My immediate response was “I’m not sure. I have an idea, but not sure if that’s exactly what I want to do.” It was that incessant question and my elusive response that got me out on the road. I got in the car and booked it to Charlotte, North Carolina.

I was originally planning on going with a friend. However, life happened and I was left to take that 11 hour drive, solo. While nervous at the forefront, the idea of being alone with my thoughts for that extended period of time, kind of excited me. Outside of a college buddy (who happened to be out of town that weekend), I knew no one at the end of my destination. So, by taking the trek with my one-man wolf pack, I was forced to kind of deal with my emotions and talk to Jesus.

I left at 4:00am on a Friday with a goal of arriving at 3:00pm (side note: I forgot I was dealing with a time difference). When it comes to me and road trips, I don’t like stopping more than necessary and my annoyance of backtracking is extremely heightened. Thirty minutes into the trip, I broke both of my zany rules. I left my wallet at my first coffee stop and didn’t realize the error until I had gotten 15 miles away. In my mind, the trip was nearly canceled and this could have been a sign to do so. I would have gone back to sleep and come up with some other activities to occupy myself for the weekend. What led me to get back on the road you might ask? I knew that I needed some answers and a breakthrough. I looked for this road trip titled #br2nc to be my emotional and mental breakthrough.

If you’ve never traveled alone, I highly recommend it. It forces you to do things that are a little uncomfortable, yet wind up being very rewarding. I’ll tell you more about the specifics in an upcoming post. Until then, I’m getting closer to figuring out what is next and I owe a lot of that to my road trip to Charlotte. Stay tuned to hear more and how.

#UnemployedLife: Pulled over

pulledoverI’m back!  Hope you guys didn’t miss me too much. I had the most relaxing and awesome adventure on my solo road trip to Charlotte. It was well needed and a city that felt like home. I’ll be writing more about the adventure in a future post.

For now, I want to talk about the range of emotions you might go through when you experience something like this. For the most part, the situation will unexpectedly arrest you. You’ll have no other option but to pull over to the shoulder and evaluate.

Everybody’s order might be different, but for me, my roller coaster went like like this:

Peace

When I took the awkward seat across from my former boss, I had an idea of what was about to be said. Because I like to play out every possibility imaginable, I wasn’t too shocked. (It’s one reason why I hate surprises). Though the conversation wasn’t any less awkward. I was at such a calm, serene mindset when the words were spoken. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I was prepared. I had been praying to pursue opportunities (however necessary) to make a bigger impact on the community and I saw this as an unforeseen answer to prayer. From my period of peace came a little bit of sadness…

Sadness

Like our friends in the Middle East, the feeling of peace in my situation was temporary. Out of nowhere, I just felt this emotion to wanting to isolate myself from everyone and would get super emotional randomly. You might have thought it was my time of the month (sorry ladies).  I never hit the full on ugly cry, but I was close. Nothing anyone said or did could make the sadness go away. There would be spurts of happiness, but sadness was the overwhelming emotion. I knew and have always known that there’s a plan for everything, but sometimes knowing something doesn’t take away from what you see in front of you. When sadness came in like a wrecking ball, confusion quickly followed behind it.

Confusion

I couldn’t understand why this happened to me. I felt as if I was screaming loudly without opening my mouth the question of “Why?” I would ask the Lord, some friends, myself or anyone who I saw, that question and could never come up with an answer that made proper sense. I circled back through every step and could come up with some solutions, but at the end of the day I still didn’t think it would really end up like this. I know I mentioned earlier that I knew it was a possibility, but there’s a difference between possibility and reality. Also, I kept wondering how was I going to do this thing? This freelancing gig… Could I really do it on my own? Do I want to work for someone else? If so, who and how? I had no clue where to start or what I wanted to do when I grew up.  During this entire time, I would still meet with others in the community like I mentioned in a previous post.  In fact, it would be those conversations, my incredible family (like my beautiful alien of a niece) and friends, and the trip to Charlotte that got me to the emotional state in which I currently find myself.

Excitement

Regardless what you believe, there is always room for growth and improvement. My departure from my previous employer has been opening some crazy large doors that I would not have otherwise been able to approach. I still don’t know what I am going to “settle” on doing, but I know that I’m ready to kick down every door, see the world and begin a new adventure with the best smile and attitude.

I’m not negative when I say that an emotional shift will happen eventually, but I’ll cross that emoticon when I get to it. At the end of the day, my faith has not wavered. If anything, it has only gotten stronger. It’s what keeps you going. Until the next phase, I leave you with encouragement. Pursue your dreams and keep pushing despite your nerves and fears. The world is ready for you. Are you ready for it?

Thanks for your continued thoughts, prayers and coffee dates. I’m still open! Dark roast, no cream or sugar please…

 

Time

#UnemployedLife: Time after time

I’m learning that there are some perks (not supplied by the government) of being unemployed.

1. Opportunity for more sleep

I tend to work better between the hours of 9pm – 2:00am. It’s how I’m wired. However, I found myself working those hours plus the regular “9-5,” and nearly every other in between towards the end of my tenure. Part of that is due to the nature of the work, some to being overloaded and also part to my eagerness to get stuff done.
I have been able to basically hibernate for the past two weeks and feel as rested as your average bear.

2. Hello Netflix!

Like many, I have a confession that might not be as serious as Usher’s, but it’s real. I love Netflix but I don’t have my own account. I bum off one of my sisters. (Remember, I am a BRoke guy). Ever since I finished House of Cards in two days, I haven’t been able to catch up on the other shows and movies staring at me under my profile aptly named ‘Brother’. Since receiving the pink slip, I’ve been able to watch Walt, avoid the Orange and reconnect with childhood classics like the “Sword and the Stone”. Best thing, I can watch these shows or movies at a reasonable time. However, there is something kinda awesome about going to work with baggy eyes because you stayed up to watch Don drunkenly save the day! Side note: I’d prefer to not see Megan when the 2nd half of the series finale returns next spring.

3. Food

While I do have to be cautious of my eating out, I am enjoying eating at local faves like Zeeland Street at 9:30am or Harrington’s Cafe at 1:00pm without rushing back to work. I also get to watch more of Giada, former Top Chef contestants as experts on talk shows and eat plenty of cereal, the quintessential bachelor meal.

While I know this phase is temporary and I’ve been meeting with different colleagues and following leads, I must say that I’m enjoying this resting period. I’m praying more, reading, spending quality time with folks and on the road to discovering what it is I want to be when I grow up.

I leave you with that for now. My next phase will be traveling to my dream state of North Carolina to reflect and retreat! Later

 

#UnemployedLife: BRoke and Busted?

We pride ourselves on being candid when it comes to activities around the area and how to do those things on the cheap. For the unforeseeable future, we’ll be bringing you unadulterated vulnerability in a series we’re simply calling “Unemployed,” with Josh taking the lead. Here we go…

 

Unemployed

Chapter 1

Well, if this isn’t awkward, I don’t know what else is. NJoshever mind, I can think of a few things. Let’s jump straight into it, shall we? It’s been nearly two weeks since I have been without formal employment. I never saw myself being in this position (again). The first time was completely out of my hands and I was offered a return to the company multiple times following that experience. This time, the reasoning was an unfortunate situation that ultimately lies on my shoulders. Side note: While I admit to being transparent and I’m sure I’ll open up to it in the future, there are some details that can remain sealed for now.

While your mind is spinning trying to Law & Order the motive, here’s a quick little background on my work experience. I graduated from LSU in 2009 with a BA in mass communication, specifically in public relations, and a minor in Spanish. My work experience includes teaching in the EBR public school system, recruiting for a local college and working in a couple of advertising agencies a la Ken Cosgrove. Friends laugh because though I have had these places as my main squeezes, I’ve been a youth pastor for the past five years, worked at LSU during football games, write in a freelance capacity and of course, 2BRokeGuys. Some travel around the world or take up scrabble when they have spare time. I work?

Now that I find myself in a new situation, I’m going to take this time to figure out what it is I want to do with my life when I grow up. While most likely meeting new friends in the unemployment line on N. 23rd, I hope to begin my next adventure that allows me to make a good living, but most importantly, serves the community. Think that sounds a little farfetched? Nah, it’s the millennial’s dream. My goal is to pursue that dream however possible. If I’m driving you around, asking for your order, or attending one of your meetings, make sure to say ‘hello’ and keep me accountable along my journey. I know I’m not the only person to have ever been in this situation and I’m not in the worst of conditions. My purpose is to share my experiences and thoughts along the way, however short or long the trip may be. This will hopefully be fun, eye-opening and educational as I’m open to almost any thing…almost. Until then, stay happy, love people and #GeauxforBRoke

Photo not our own

What’s going on this weekend?

It’s Friday and if you haven’t been wondering what you’ll be doing this weekend yet, then now is the time to decide.

Being that we are in the South and it’s summer time, you might be breaking out your seersucker for another seasonal wedding. However, if you get the weekend off, here’s our pick for what you can do:

Movies and Music on the Lawn

The silent film and live music series kicks off tonight at the Baton Rouge Gallery at 8:00pm. For a BRoke cost of $5, you’ll get admission and bottomless popcorn. You can’t beat that. Tonight’s selection will be “Sunrise,” a thriller that dates back to 1927.

We’ve been before and highly recommend you spending some time here this summer ad fall.

Other things happening this weekend:

Paddle Battle

Jazz with George Bell

Don’t forget about the Live After Five announcement that just happened today! A lot of great acts coming up in a couple of months.

Live After Five lineup announced

The outdoor series, sponsored by the Downtown Business Association, announced its fall 2014 lineup. Here’s the list:

Sept. 5 – Marc Broussard with opening act  of Jason Martin

Sept. 12 – Chris Leblanc & the SpanishTown Big Band

Sept. 19 – Flowtribe with opening act of Dulac Smack

Sept. 26 – Werewolf & AM/FM. This concert is lasting until 9:00pm!

Oct. 4 – Foret Tradition

Oct. 10 – After 8 with the LSU Jazz Ensemble Horns

Oct. 17 – Perkins Road

Oct. 24 – Colin Lake with opening act  of Startisan and sponsored by the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters

Live After Five is a Baton Rouge staple occurring in both the fall and spring.

Miss USA 2014

Our pageant experience ended in a K.O.

After what has seemed like a lifetime, our pageant experienced ended last night when the panel of celebrity judges voted Miss Nevada USA, Nia Sanchez, as our newest Miss USA 2014. She is a beauty and a 4th Degree Black Belt. You probably shouldn’t mess with her unless you want trouble.

We were able to be up close and center the entire two weeks of pageantry and last night was no different. At the red carpet event prior to the event, we saw awesome notable folks like former ‘NSync member Lance Bass, UFC champ and actor Randy Couture, fitness expert Dolvett Quince and the product of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Rumer Willis.  They were tasked with this responsibility with the  likes of hilarious actress Melissa Peterman, the Latina coach and judge Bárbara Palacios, LA boy and legend Karl Malone, actor Ian Zering and the drop dead gorgeous Allie LaForce. My goodness. She was a knockout!  Don’t you agree?

Miss Teen USA 2013 and Allie LaForce Allie LaForce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local musician Marc Broussard along with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band Horns killed the opening of the show with something that was only fitting for Louisiana. Florida Georgia Line and Nelly were also hanging around to sing the terribly annoying and catchy song of “Cruise” while Latin Grammy winners Camila serenaded the ladies during the evening gown competition.

Our Miss Louisiana USA, Brittany Guidry did a great job and ended in the 4th position as third runner-up. In our opinion, she had to answer a ridiculously hard question regarding the recent transaction of Bergdahl. We thought she handled the tough question very nicely and it should have gotten her a higher spot on the podium.

Overall, our pageant experience, while busy, was the best. We got to meet 51 of the hottest girls around the country, make new friends and party with the best folks of Baton Rouge. You can’t beat that. Until the next big adventure (probably next week), we’re off!

To see more photos…

Prelims: We’re almost there

We’ve had our most fun yet on Wednesday night at the preliminary competition for Miss USA.  The preliminary competition is quite the big deal as far as the overall pageant is concerned. on Wednesday night, the 51 contestants paraded in swimsuit and evening gown. On Thursday, they met with the judges for an interview. These three components combined determine who will be the Top 15 on Sunday night’s live competition.

This Sunday, we, the viewers, have the opportunity to save our favorites in the pageant by tweeting the contestant’s name along with the hashtag, #SavetheQueen. Who will your favorite be? Here’s an inside scoop: we like Miss South Carolina, Texas, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware and Wisconsin, DC and of course, Miss Louisiana.

Keep tuned as we #GeauxforBRoke as we are #2BRoke4MissUSA. The pageant airs THIS Sunday on NBC at 7pm from the River Center. #GoBR

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